New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India-Middle-East-Europe Economic Corridor, for which an agreement was reached during the G20 summit hosted India last year, will be a "big game changer like the silk route".

In an interview with ANI, PM Modi also talked about consensus reached at the G20 summit on the declaration, among speculations in some quarters that such an outcome will be difficult due to difference in positions on the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

PM Modi said he pushed forward the consensus declaration to cause a surprise.

Referring to India-Middle-East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), he said Gulf countries played a positive role and the US and Europe too supported India on this.

The handshake between the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Joe Biden at the G20 had evoked headlines globally.

"When we work for the global good, there are no personal ifs and can take the world on board. And my attempt was, tell me how G8 and G20 were born. The issues for which these were formed we should never divert from those issues. And in that, everyone was convinced by me. With some people, I needed to talk personally. I did that too. Secondly, my intention was that I will not bring the resolution on the last day, in the last session. I will do it so early that people will be surprised. And so I completed the declaration work of the second day, on the first day that was my strategy and that strategy worked," PM Modi said.

Replying to a query on the "classic handshake" between US President and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, he said PM Modi said he has friendship with both the leaders.

"We have worked on the IMEC, which is going to be a big game changer like the Silk Route was a game changer. There was a positive and proactive role of the Gulf countries. India got an opportunity to play a good role. The US and Europe were with us. And everyone thought that there would be a concrete, positive outcome. So we used to meet on that," he said.

"So there was an opportunity to get the Saudi King and President Biden together, and I have a good friendship with both," he added.

India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the New Delhi G20 Summit held in September last year.

The Prime Minister underlined that G20 events were held in every state of India and said while the guests got to see different parts of the country, the citizens alos learnt about G20.

"I could have hosted G20 in Delhi. I didn't do that. We did G20 events in every state of India. People should get the opportunity to see that state. The state should get a global platform for its exposure. For me, every corner of my country is my country," he said.

PM Modi also responded to a question about apprehensions in certain sections of foreign media about democracy sliding if he grows stronger and said India is mother of democracy.

"The first thing is that what is their terminology and what is the basis of their coming to this conclusion. This is a matter of research in itself. But I don't understand this that in a country where 6 lakh panchayats are run by the elected people, and where elections are held on a regular basis, there are so many states and so many party governments. In our country, there might hardly be a political party that has not been in power somewhere. So despite all this, if he says that someone is becoming the supreme leader, then I think he has a lack of knowledge," he said.

The G20 summit led to the consolidation of a comprehensive framework with the objective of fostering enhanced collaboration among the G20 member nations, the European Union, and the African Union, which was formally inducted into the bloc at the New Delhi summit.

India's G20 Presidency had achieved an early breakthrough on the first day as G20 members agreed to a joint statement in which there was consensus on"Ukraine paragraphs" with shift in position by some countries.

The New Delhi Declaration was adopted unanimously.

Prime Minister Modi also talked about his government's efforts to forge better ties with neighbours and said the neighbours are the happiest. He said the government has given priority to "Neighbourhood First" and Act East policies.

"Today, even if there is a country hundreds of miles away from the world, they feel that we have some benefit from the progress of India. So why won't the neighbours see? Today, the neighbours are the happiest," PM Modi said.

He said India had helped all its neighbours during COVID-19 and India was first responder during earthquake in Nepal.

"There was a huge crisis in Sri Lanka. During that crisis, we have done the most work to get them out of trouble. They recognise it, they say it. And that is why, I am experiencing another thing, they expect a lot from us and in a positive way. And India has also said that we want to see our neighbouring countries strong and prosperous," he added.

Replying to a query on Pakistan and ties with a some other neighbouring countries, PM Modi pointed to compulsions of their internal politics.

"In this their internal politics is important. More than the relations between India and those countries, some things are important for their internal politics," he said.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed